A Weekend of Mountains and Miles in Northern Spain

Nov 15, 2022 10:00:00 AM / by Mia Forouhari

In her final post for the CAPA World blog, Mia Forouhari shares a few hiking options in and out of Barcelona as an antidote to the hustle and bustle of the city. She experiences the difference between the city and countryside in Spain and closes off her chapter sharing where you can find the best views.

I was fortunate enough to venture outside of Barcelona for a weekend with my family and take a short break from the hustle and bustle of the city. While I adore the busy city, experiencing the natural beauty of northern Spain was an absolute treat. Hopefully this blog serves as a guide for some hikes through the amazing landscape of Spain, as well as some hiking options closer to the city.

Boltaña and Torla-Ordesa

I started off my northern Spain sightseeing by driving up to Boltaña and Torla-Ordesa, small towns a few hours away from Barcelona. Along the way, we passed several farms and wild horses in the sprawling grass fields. The difference between the country and city was a remarkable contrast.

On our first full day here, my family and I decided to embark on a 10-mile round-trip hike. We started in the visitor center of Valle de Ordesa and Monte Perdido, utilizing the park bus as the only way to access the hiking trails in the summer. The hike, Cascada Cola de Caballo, featured stunning panoramic views of the Pyrenees mountains at every step. The trail was complete with waterfalls, lush trees, and rocky cliffs. After about three hours, we finally completed the hike and refueled ourselves at the little restaurant at the base of the park.

The Cascada Cola de Caballo in Spain

This trail is filled with multiple waterfalls!
View at the end of the Cola de Caballo trail in Spain

The view at the end of the Cola de Caballo trail.

Congost de Mont-Rebei

Our hike the next day probably wins the top spot of my all time favorite hikes. While a little shorter in length than Cola de Caballo, this hike lacked nothing in the scenery department. Congost de Mont-Rebei has multiple routes filled with jaw dropping views of a gorge with walls 500 meters high in some places. We took the short route, which was clearly mapped out and described at the visitor center at the start. This hike made me realize I am a little more scared of heights than I previously thought. In spite of this, this hike was gorgeous and worth any subsequent nerves.

The Congost de Mont-Rebei gorge in Spain

The Congost de Mont-Rebei gorge.
Walking along the Congost de Mont-Rebei trail in Spain

See if you can spot me walking along the trail!

Hiking in Barcelona

I strongly recommend hiking in northern Spain if you have the chance while studying abroad here. There are many buses and trains that can take you to these specific locations, as well as hostels in the towns of Boltaña, Torla-Ordesa, and Lleida. However, if you don’t get a chance to make it here, there are plenty of options for hiking closer to the city.

Parc del Guinardó

Parc del Guinardó is near the Sagrada Familía area and is a large park filled with multiple trails, flowers, and lush nature in the heart of the city. Whether you’d enjoy a brisk walk or challenging hike, there are plenty of trails to choose from. You can hike all the way up to the Bunkers del Carmel which offer some of the best views of Barcelona.

One viewpoint at Parc del Guinardó in Barcelona, Spain

One viewpoint at Parc del Guinardó.


The second suggestion I have for hiking in Barcelona is Montserrat, the multi-peaked mountain range just about an hour outside of the center of Barcelona. Take a bus or train and spend an entire day here enjoying trails and make sure to visit the Abbey of Montserrat.

Thanks, Mia!

Mia Forouhari

Mia Forouhari was an official CAPA blogger for summer 2022, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Marketing major from University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, she is studied abroad in Barcelona this semester.

See more of Mia's journey in Barcelona, Spain.

New call-to-action

Topics: Barcelona, Spain, Local Culture